Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Change the Government to improve jobs and wages

Change the Government to improve jobs and wages

“The wage and employment statistics out today, the last before the election, show how the Government has failed workers over its two terms,” says CTU President, Helen Kelly. “Unemployment has at last fallen below 6% but at 5.6% and 137,000 people, it is still far higher than the 3.5% in December 2007 – so we know we can and should do much better. Despite the luck of booming dairy sales (now running out) and lots of jobs created for the Canterbury rebuild, which account for half of the growth in employment during the year, the Government has created a record of 20 quarters – five years – with unemployment higher than Australia. We usually have lower unemployment than Australia: over two-thirds of the time since 1986.” Kelly said. “This is the first quarter to end that appalling record, but reflects temporary factors, not a permanent turn around in jobs. On top of the 137,000 unemployed are 104,500 looking for work but not officially classified as unemployed – up from 97,200 a year ago. The number of part-time workers wanting more hours has risen from 87,500 to 98,200 over the year.” Kelly said.

“The Government has discriminated against young people with youth rates, and we were told that 90-day fire-at-will trials were meant to help them into jobs. The evidence from their own Ministry (MBIE) is that 90 day trials did nothing for young people but it has stripped them of basic rights, making them even more vulnerable to exploitation. An audit report into the effectiveness of Government changes to the welfare system says 90-day trials are a ‘barrier to sustainable employment’. The proportion of 20-24 year olds not in work, education or training is higher than in Sept last year, even after taking seasonal effects into account, and is still too high. There are still 71,000 young people not in employment, education or training,” Kelly said.

“Wage growth has been appalling. Workers are not getting a fair share of the growth in the economy. It looks like growth is peaking, yet wages still have lots of catching up to do. The average wage, whose rise fell behind inflation in the last quarter, is only 1.4% higher than it was 5 years ago in June 2009 after taking account of price rises, and middle-income earners are falling behind even the average wage. Housing costs are eating into families’ living standards, increasingly giving them a choice between huge debts from buying an unaffordable house or trying to make do in a poor quality rental and having to move far too often. The Household Incomes Report showed the half of households with the lowest incomes saw no increase in their incomes between 2009 and 2013, with housing a big contribution to poverty and inequality.” Kelly said.

“We need a new Government that gives priority to higher wages. That needs a strong rise in the minimum wage and a commitment to real improvements in how wages are negotiated. This Government only promises to strip away further work rights, meaning stagnating wages, increasing inequality, and struggling families. It’s time to change the Government.” Kelly said.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

No Voda/Sky: Commission Declines Clearance For Merger

The Commerce Commission has declined to grant clearance for the proposed merger of Sky Network Television and Vodafone New Zealand.

The Commission’s assessment focused on the impact of the proposed merger on competition in both the broadband and mobile telecommunications markets. To grant clearance, the Commission would need to be satisfied that the proposed merger would not be likely to substantially lessen competition in any market in New Zealand. More>>

 

22/2: Christchurch Quake Memorial To Be Unveiled

A city, a region, a nation and an international community impacted by the Canterbury Earthquakes will come together tomorrow to mark the sixth anniversary of the deadly quake and dedicate Oi Manawa Canterbury Earthquake National Memorial.

The Canterbury Earthquake National Memorial Dedication and Civic Memorial Service starts at 12 noon tomorrow, February 22, at the Memorial site on the Ōtākaro/Avon River, in the area bordered by the Montreal Street Bridge, Durham Street, and Cambridge and Oxford Terraces. More>>

ALSO:


November Quakes:

Gordon Campbell: On The Mana-Maori Party Deal

If the self-interest involved wasn’t so blatant, the electorate deal between the Maori Party and Hone Harawira would be kind of poignant. It’s a bit like seeing the remaining members of Guns’n’Roses or the Eagles back on the road touring the nostalgia circuit… playing all the old hits of Maori unity and kaupapa Maori politics. More>>

ALSO:

Private Provision: First Social Bond To Focus On Mental Health

New Zealand’s first social bond will help around 1700 people with mental illness into work, Finance Minister Steven Joyce and Social Investment Minister Amy Adams say. More>>

ALSO:

Immigration: Short Reprieve For Nine Indian Students

A temporary hold on deportations of nine Indian students is a step in the right direction but the Government urgently needs to implement safeguards to stop further injustices to more international students, the Green Party says. More>>

EARLIER:


Megaupload Case: High Court Rules Dotcom, Co-Accused Eligible For Extradion

Internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom and his three co-accused are eligible for extradition to the United States, New Zealand's High Court ruled... Justice Murray Gilbert upheld a decision by the District Court that there were grounds for Dotcom, Mathias Ortmann, Bram van der Kolk and Finn Batato to be extradited. More>>

ALSO:

PREVIOUSLY:

Port Hills Fire: Midday Update, Monday 20 February

• 9 homes destroyed
• 2 homes with partial damage. Damage includes things like cracked windows, heat damage.
• 3 properties with damage to other external structures e.g sheds or outbuildings More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news